Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

CTV Leaders: Emmanuel Josserand, Senior Director, FreeWheel

NDA has launched an interview series, CTV Leaders: Building the Future of TV, featuring inspirational leaders across the industry. Next up is Emmanuel Josserand, Senior Director Brand, Agency and Industry Relations, FreeWheel.

What is the biggest opportunity for advertisers AND consumers in CTV at present?

CTV unites the big screen experience with the power and flexibility of digital.

For audiences, it gives them the ability to watch a vast pool of high quality, professionally produced entertainment whenever they want and in different formats. The ongoing hybridisation of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD), for example, is making premium video content even more accessible to viewers. By the end of 2023, I expect most major SVOD services in developed markets to have rolled out a free or discounted ad-supported tier for their viewers. 

For advertisers and agencies, this means greater opportunities to connect with desired audiences in an effective, brand-safe environment. Free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) services for instance are helping brands extend their reach and engage viewers through niche programming, which makes FAST ad environments personal and impactful.

What are the biggest challenges and how will we overcome them?

Measuring campaigns across a diverse range of media, screens, and platforms remains a key challenge for advertisers and agencies.

Furthering measurement capabilities will help buyers gain a clear and accurate view of collective impact. Solutions which can attribute uplifts to website and app activity to CTV ads, for example, will contribute to sustaining buyers’ trust in CTV as a channel that delivers results. Additionally, robust frequency capping across CTV platforms will help to prevent ad fatigue among viewers and protect premium video’s reputation for quality. 

More can be done, of course, especially in regards to the data element of both measurement and targeting solutions. The deprecation of third-party cookies has sparked rapid innovation in how advertisers access and leverage alternatives such as first-party data, ID solutions, and contextual.

Premium video providers own a wealth of audience insights and can facilitate contextual targeting based on information such as content genre and episode. This makes CTV advertising valuable to buyers as they seek to boost reach and engagement without relying on cookies.

What technology or innovation in the sector are you most excited about?

Naturally, AI is evolving and opening many doors for the advertising industry. This technology, however, is still in its infancy and we are only scratching the surface. While we haven’t yet grasped the full extent of its capabilities, I’m expect AI will transform advertising as we know it.

Looking more near-term, I would say addressability – and in particular linear addressable. This unlocks huge potential for targeting and personalisation; something that TV isn’t typically renowned for. Addressability presents advertisers and agencies with the ability to deliver mass reach and drive consumer action throughout the marketing funnel.

What is your favourite CTV ad or piece of content at the moment and why?

Recent developments in data-driven video & CTV advertising have enabled brands to deliver compelling stories. CTV advertising enables brands to deliver highly engaging, emotive ad creative such as this to capture unparalleled levels of viewer attention. There is one campaign in particular that we worked on for a well-known humanitarian organisation to help raise donations. Through data activation the campaign achieved great performance with a much greater cost per donation and a cost per acquisition.

And more recently I’ve seen some other great campaigns such as IKEA, that are addressing consumers’ current challenges with the cost of living crisis through humour; a bold but expertly created campaign that encapsulated its brand values and connected with its audience.

What is your most proud achievement in the CTV sector to date?

I am very proud of our contribution to CTV’s growth in general. Our media sales team at AudienceXpress placed CTV at the heart of our product development when it was still nascent and positioned it as our core offering. Now, the large majority of the campaigns we run for our clients are CTV.

We are excited to be driving progress in this space for both our supply and demand partners, ensuring CTV inventory is accessible at scale and protecting premium video’s stellar reputation among buyers and audiences alike.